European investors complain over data costs; Big banks beef up AML controls

Apr 4, 2019

First Read

Data Day in the case of U.S. v. Jitesh Thakkar
Thom Thompson – John Lothian News

In an abbreviated third trial day, the U.S. Department of Justice rested its case against Jitesh Thakkar and Edge Financial Technologies. Thakkar is on trial for allegedly facilitating the criminally fraudulent spoofing trading of Navinder Sarao, who pleaded guilty to two criminal counts related to his spoofing of E-mini S&P futures in the first half of this decade.

Wednesday was software and data day. The software analysis as well as much of the data analysis were built on evidence obtained by the government through subpoenas and search warrants, mostly in the course of the investigation of Navinder Sarao.

To read the rest of this commentary, go here.

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The Need for a Better Dialogue with Regulators – Ed Tilly, Cboe
JohnLothianNews.com

The SEC delayed its controversial Transaction Fee Pilot in the wake of litigation brought by Cboe, NYSE and Nasdaq, giving the exchanges a breather but not a full reprieve from the plan to test how rebates affect broker behavior.

In this video from JLN’s Industry Leader Series, Cboe Global Markets Chairman, President and CEO Ed Tilly talks about why the Transaction Fee Pilot is a misguided effort in search of a problem, specifically raising the issue of why such a plan does not address the boom in dark pool trading. Tilly also addresses Cboe nearing the end of the Bats technology integration and gives an outlook for the exchange’s asset classes in 2019.
Watch the video »

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Hits & Takes
JLN Staff

Brian Gelfand is leaving TMX at the end of the week after first coming to the Montreal Exchange back in 2001. Gelfand has held a number of positions over the years at MX and TMX, including regulatory, market operations and institutional relations. Most recently he was chief commercial officer for CDS and CDCC, the securities depository and derivatives clearinghouses serving Canadian securities and derivatives markets.~JJL

Gelfand is a widely liked and respected exchange and clearing professional, whom I am sure will find another opportunity to utilize his skills and expertise in derivatives and securities. The TMX door may be closing, but another will be opening soon.~JJL

CQG’s Pat Kenny was re-elected as mayor of the Village of Fontana, Wis. with 365 votes for against six write-in votes. His official title is now the Honorable Patrick Kenny, Chairman of the Association of Futures Markets, CQG’s Man about the Globe and the Most Interesting Man in the World.~JJL

Yesterday, JLN had an issue due to the use of a new URL shortener, which caused Google and some other domains to bounce the newsletter. We replaced the links and resent the newsletter. Our apologies for any inconvenience.~JJL

Today is the last day for nominations for STA Women in Finance’s Ken Heath Award, which honors men who have made a “notable and genuine contribution” to the advancement of women in finance. The award will be presented Tuesday, May 21. You can find more information here. ~SR

Nasdaq’s Allan Schoenberg may have been out tweeted by yours truly, but he has clearly outrun me, having run 6,685 miles in the last four and half years. That is exactly 6,685 more miles than I have run in the same time.~JJL

During the last 28 days, my Twitter account, @JohnLothian, has seen my tweets increase 254%, my tweet impressions total 606K and a 259% increase in profile visits with 2152 visits. Additionally, mentions of @johnlothian are up 313% at 91 mentions and my followers have increased by 25 to a total of 9179.~JJL

Yesterday was my top tweeting day in the last 28 days with 116 tweets, which generated 33,023 impressions, the most daily impressions for me during those 28 days.

Drew Glassford has left his position as head of strategic initiatives for the Boys Scouts of America and is now the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dundee. He was very influential in my starting Trading Tech 300 and making other plans, which I shared on my personal Scouting blog.~JJL

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No, Your Instagram ‘Influence’ Is Not as Good as Cash, Club Owner Says
Heather Murphy – NY Times
A small-business owner on an island in the Philippines has become a local hero for pushing back at the growing number of international travelers who introduce themselves as “influencers” as a way to get free food, drinks and lodging.
/jlne.ws/2K4fvr8

****Just because it won’t work in clubs or get you that free lodging you wanted, doesn’t mean that it won’t work as collateral during your next margin call. (Maybe that would be a good joke for next year’s April Fool’s Day.)~SD

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Private-Jet Cryptocurrency Gets Pass From SEC
Restrictions on use of TurnKey Jet’s ‘digital tokens’ limit their appeal for investors broadly
Dave Michaels and Gabriel T. Rubin – The Wall Street Journal
A private-jet company won the ability to sell a digital token that doesn’t require oversight by financial regulators. The hitch: The token won’t operate like others, diminishing its allure to fans of cryptocurrencies.
/jlne.ws/2UgZKBG

***** What do you do if you are in the private jet and run out of tokens?~JJL

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Patagonia Is Cracking Down on the Wall Street Uniform
Kim Bhasin – Bloomberg
Patagonia Inc. is cracking down on the corporate logo vests that have become wardrobe staples on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley.
/jlne.ws/2UuSCRs

***** What will Duncan Niederauer do?~JJL

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Wednesday’s Top Three
There is a Chicago event this week that matters to the industry more than any other: the trial of Jitesh Thakkar. Our top read story of the day was Thom Thompson’s JLN coverage of day two of the trial in US v Thakkar: “MasterChief” Day. Third was Crain’s Chicago Business’ Trial against non-trader spoofer gets underway. Third was Jim Kharouf’s piece on that other event in Chicago, the mayoral election, in Why The Mayor Matters

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Lead Stories

European investors complain over soaring cost of data; Funds say exchanges are jacking up fees to offset weaker revenues from trading
Philip Stafford – FT
European stock exchanges are locked in battle against some of their biggest customers, trying to fend off accusations that they are overcharging for the basic ingredient to every trade: market data.
/jlne.ws/2UAvuBm

Stung by Big Fines, Big Banks Beef Up Money-Laundering Controls
Yalman Onaran – Bloomberg
HSBC added 4,000 employees to monitor suspicious activities; ‘Despite all the money we’re spending, it’s still getting in’
When U.S. authorities shut the sex-ad site Backpage.com last year, financial-crime monitors at an HSBC Holdings Plc office in New York sprang into action.
/jlne.ws/2UtzhQB

Former Eurex CIO Brendan Bradley joins ipushpull a Real-time Workflow Automation platform
ipushpull
The award-winning live data sharing and real-time workflow automation platform is pleased to formally announce the appointment of Brendan Bradley as Chairman of ipushpull.
/jlne.ws/2OQpoqR

JPMorgan, Nomura Job Cuts Add to Wave of Pullbacks in Finance
Steve Dickson – Bloomberg
Automation and new technology are replacing thousands of workers at banks and asset managers around the world, just as consolidation — including Deutsche Bank AG’s proposed merger with Commerzbank AG — puts thousands more jobs at risk.
/jlne.ws/2Utepcm

After Cutting 802,000 Jobs, Some Big Banks Are Adding Staff
Yalman Onaran – Bloomberg
Hundreds of thousands of jobs have disappeared on Wall Street since the 2008 financial crisis and some of the biggest banks haven’t stopped cutting. Still, some firms managed to reverse the trend and are slowly boosting staff levels.
/jlne.ws/2K2DOp5

Deutsche Bank Dismisses Credit Trader Over Client Chats
Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg
Tian Zeng left firm after internal review, broker records show; Zeng is said to disclose Credit Suisse involvement in a trade
Deutsche Bank AG dismissed a trader after finding that he disclosed details about Credit Suisse Group AG’s involvement in a trade, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
/jlne.ws/2K89fi7

U.K. Parliament Acts to Block a Potentially Chaotic No-Deal Brexit
Tim Ross, Robert Hutton and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
May, Corbyn to continue intensive talks to seek compromise; House of Lords to debate bill passed narrowly by Commons
Britain took a decisive step away from a damaging no-deal Brexit as members of Parliament and political leaders backed efforts to prevent a disorderly departure from the European Union.
/jlne.ws/2UubxvD

Tradeweb Sets $6 Billion IPO, Seizing on Hot Market; Bond-trading company will sell shares at $27 apiece
Liz Hoffman and Corrie Driebusch – WSJ
Online bond-trading platform Tradeweb Markets Inc. said it would sell shares at $27 apiece in its initial public offering on Thursday, capitalizing on investors hungry for new issues.
/jlne.ws/2Ut4OlW

Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
SEC
Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation. We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities. Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws.
/jlne.ws/2K10Wo4

Hong Kong regulator recommends cap on margin financing; The Securities and Futures Commission is trying to lower market volatility
Hudson Lockett – FT
Hong Kong’s securities regulator has recommended introducing limits on the margin financing brokers can provide to clients in a bid to quash market volatility resulting from overleveraged traders.
/jlne.ws/2UseVrc

Fraction of buy-side firms ready for uncleared margin rules; SimCorp research finds only 7% of buy-side firms are ready to comply with the incoming rules in September.
John Brazier – The Trade
Only a fraction of buy-side firms are ready to comply with new collateral rules for uncleared derivatives, which will be extended to a wider range of firms from September.
/jlne.ws/2UqLSnR

LCH adopts genesis automated workflow solutions for ForexClear, SwapClear and CDSClear; Clearinghouse implements trio of solutions to support growth plans through workflow automation.
John Brazier – The Trade
London-based clearinghouse LCH has implemented three new workflow automation solutions from software provider genesis, across its foreign exchange, swaps and CDS clearing lines.
/jlne.ws/2Upzu7D

Peregrine Investors’ Loss Suit Tossed As Time-Barred
Law360
A New York federal judge has dismissed as too late claims by a group of Peregrine Financial Group customers alleging banks, commodities exchanges and regulatory agencies were liable for the loss…
/jlne.ws/2WPtJxD

Judge Orders Ex-Brokers In Ponzi Scheme To Pay $2.7M
Law360
A New Jersey federal judge has ordered a default judgment against two former brokers to pay $1.9 million in civil penalties and another $762,807 in restitution for defrauding at least 30 customers in a Ponzi scheme.
/jlne.ws/2WJRSFv

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Nodal Exchange achieves record quarter in power futures
Nodal Exchange
Nodal Exchange achieved a new quarterly trading record in power futures with a total volume of 405 million MWh in Q1 2019 (notional value of $13 billion per side). This resulted in a 64% growth rate in Q1 2019 over Q1 2018 while the total industry market grew just 3%.
/jlne.ws/2K3TZmp

****In case you missed it, we just put out a video featuring Nodal Exchange CEO Paul Cusenza.

Cboe Global Markets Reports March 2019 Trading Volume
Cboe
Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe: CBOE), one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today reported March monthly trading volume.
/jlne.ws/2K3Kxz6

Is Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE) A Good Dividend Stock?
Yahoo
Dividends can be underrated but they form a large part of investment returns, playing an important role in compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE) has paid a dividend to shareholders.
/jlne.ws/2K1Lbx8

MOEX confirms its compliance with IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks
Moscow Exchange
Moscow Exchange announces that it has successfully completed an annual assurance review of MOEX indices’ compliance with the Principles for Financial Benchmarks published by the International Organization…
/jlne.ws/2UCaHxj

New Market Data Feed Provides Complete Transparency for Eurex Options
Deutsche Boerse Group
Deutsche Boerse Group has introduced the new market data product Eurex Order by Order Futures + Options. For the first time, this data product provides the entire visible Eurex order book for futures as well as options. Previously, this depth of market data was only available for futures. Eurex, part of Deutsche Boerse Group, is a leading international derivatives marketplace offering around 2,200 products in numerous asset classes.
/jlne.ws/2UAwOnO

Traders make ample use of our extended trading hours in roll month March
Eurex
Exciting news: the results in March – the first roll month after the launch of our extended trading hours (THX) in the Asian time zones in December 2018 – exceeded our expectation. High trading activity during the THX of the roll period demonstrate the strong confidence in price quality and market depth. The figures in detail:
/jlne.ws/2UyROeg

Thai Exchange Reveals SET Awards 2019 Preliminary Nominees
MondoVisione
The Stock Exchange of Thailand, jointly with Money & Banking Magazine, is organizing the 16th SET Awards ó an annual event to honor outstanding listed companies and spotlight them as role models for the industry, today announcing a list of 620 listed firms that have passed the preliminary screening for the prestigious awards. The winners of the awards will be announced in November 2019.
/jlne.ws/2UyUngo

Fintech

Tradeweb IPO delivers $1bn bounty for Wall Street; Fixed income and derivatives trading platform will have $6bn market capitalisation
Nicole Bullock and Philip Stafford – FT
Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Barclays are among the Wall Street banks sharing in a $1.1bn bounty from the initial public offering of Tradeweb Markets, the fixed income and derivatives platform.
/jlne.ws/2UpyNLz

SageTrader Turns To Eventus Systems For Equities Trade Surveillance – Cloud Version Of Validus Platform Offers Single Dashboard To Monitor All Surveillance Metrics
MondoVisione
Eventus Systems, Inc.<https://www.eventussystems.com/>, a leading global trade surveillance and market risk platform provider, announced that SageTrader, LLC, a San Francisco and New York based broker dealer, turned to Eventus for equities market surveillance. Announced today during the 83rd annual conference of the Security Traders Association of New York, SageTrader has deployed the cloud version of the Validus platform for trade surveillance.
/jlne.ws/2UAxKsk

Mizuho International taps Asset Control for market data management; Securities and investment banking unit deploys AC Plus platform to optimise market data sourcing and integration.
John Brazier – The Trade
Mizuho International, the London-based securities and investment banking arm of the Miuzho Financial Group, has select a new market data management solution from Asset Control.
/jlne.ws/2UsfsJI

KRM22 could raise up to £11.8mln in debt and equity fundraisers; The technology group is eyeing acquisitions and has two potential deals lined up
ProactiveInvestors.o.uk
KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) said it plans to raise up to £1.8mln via a share placing and subscription for new stock as it revealed it is in early talks to tap a venture debt provider for up to £10mln to fund potential acquisitions.
/jlne.ws/2K5zvJS

Swift convenes ISO 20022 harmonisation group
Finextra
Interbank messaging network Swift has convened a working group of payments experts to formulate common guidelines for the implementation of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments.
/jlne.ws/2K5qqko

Cryptocurrencies

Atomic Capital Offers 85% LTV Crypto-Backed Loans Using Bitcoin, Ethereum as Collateral
Marks Key New Offering for Leading Digital Investments Platform
Press Release
Atomic Capital (“Atomic”), a financial services platform that is pioneering digital investments, today announced that it is expanding its suite of services with the launch of a US Dollar (USD) Loan offering tied against bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) as collateral.
/jlne.ws/2VpfBKQ

Are National Cryptocoins Helping or Hurting the Case for Crypto?
Rachel McIntosh – Finance Magnates
In late 2017 and early 2018, national stablecoins were the talk of the industry. Rumours – some confirmed, some unconfirmed, that Estonia, Sweden, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and others may be exploring the launch of a national stablecoin spread like wildfire. Many believed that the launch of national cryptocurrencies was the thing – the thing that would finally prove cryptocurrencies as a valid transactional instrument, as a worthy investment, as more than just a passing fad.
/bit.ly/2YKqLfq

Active Digital Wallets On the Rise Even Before This Week’s Bitcoin Spike
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg
Small-fry investors were already stirring before this week’s surge in digital coin prices. In the prior two weeks, a high number of electronic storage accounts known as digital wallets holding Bitcoin became active, according to market intelligence firm Flipside Crypto. While 40 percent to 50 percent of all Bitcoins are usually sitting in wallets that have been inactive from one to six months, the average has been about 10 percent since March 15, the firm found.
/bloom.bg/2Ud4WGE

Bitcoin’s Price Spike Has Sparked a Big Revival in Crypto Stocks
Eric Lam – Bloomberg
The newly bullish tone for Bitcoin prices has fed through to crypto-related companies’ shares.
/jlne.ws/2UtxdIj

EU Blockchain Group Launches With SWIFT, Ripple Onboard
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
SWIFT, IBM, Ripple and around 100 other firms and organizations have joined a new blockchain association to promote adoption of the technology across the EU.
/jlne.ws/2Uv0LFw

Exchange-Traded Products for XRP, Litecoin Go Live for EU Investors
Stan Higgins – Coindesk
Exchange-traded products (ETPs) tied to the prices of the cryptocurrencies XRP and litecoin have gone live on the Nordic Growth Market, a subsidiary of the Borse Stuttgart exchange.
/jlne.ws/2Utijlw

Crypto Exchange Binance Is Setting Up Shop in Singapore This Month
Yogita Khatri – Coindesk
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is launching a new fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore later this month.
/jlne.ws/2Uw27Qy

State of Privacy: MimbleWimble coins
Steven Zheng – The Block Crypto
In this piece, we take a look at the state of privacy in MimbleWimble, the Harry Potter-inspired protocol that has so far been implemented into four cryptocurrencies: Grin, Beam, Bitgrin, Kepler. Grin and Beam are the best-known of the bunch, with Bitgrin and Kepler the most recent implementations.
/jlne.ws/2UtitcC

World Economic Forum Reveals 44 Banks Have Researched and Experimented With Blockchain
Ogwu E – Bitcoin Exchange Guide
The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) whitepaper released on Wednesday; March 27 reveals that 44 banks are either researching or experimenting with blockchain technology in order to ascertain its use cases, whereas others are looking into central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), according to reports on April 3.
/jlne.ws/2UtDCTT

Bitcoin, BlackRock And The Rise Of Alternatives
Jeff Kauflin – Forbes Staff
As news circulates that indexing giant BlackRock is reorganizing itself with an emphasis on higher-fee alternative assets, a few are beginning to believe that bitcoin could ultimately find its place among these nontraditional assets.
/jlne.ws/2K3n3KA

Politics

Senators Propose $400 Million in Aid to Stem Crisis in Venezuela
Daniel Flatley – Bloomberg
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation that seeks to speed the transition of power in Venezuela and ease the humanitarian crisis that has escalated amid a power struggle between President Nicolas Maduro and an emboldened opposition. The legislation introduced Wednesday by New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez would provide diplomatic support for Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela, along with $400 million in humanitarian aid.
/bloom.bg/2FY9EPY

House Democrat Demands Six Years of Trump Tax Returns From I.R.S.
Nicholas Fandos – NY Times
The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, using a little-known provision in the federal tax code, formally requested on Wednesday that the I.R.S. hand over six years of President Trump’s personal and business tax returns, starting what is likely to be a momentous fight with his administration.
/jlne.ws/2K6ozf7

Regulation

Basel Committee names new leaders, SEC’s first CRO, forex exits at BNP Paribas, and more
Latest job changes across the industry
Abdool Fawzee Bhollah – Risk.net
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has named Carolyn Rogers its next secretary-general. Rogers will also serve as chair of the committee’s policy development group. Rogers is assistant superintendent of regulation at Canada’s banking watchdog, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. She is also OSFI’s representative on the Basel Committee. She leaves her current role in June, and starts in Basel on August 14 for an initial three-year term, which may be extended.
/jlne.ws/2UufDUx

Global investigations review
UK FCA
Speech by Mark Steward, Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, delivered at the Global Investigations Review Live event in London.
/jlne.ws/2UoXU0Y

2019 Town Hall Webinar
NFA
To provide Members with an opportunity to ask questions of NFA’s leadership, NFA will conduct its fifth annual Town Hall webinar on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. CT/2:00 p.m. ET.
/jlne.ws/2UC9S7H

Remarks of Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo at the Eurofi Financial Forum, Bucharest, Romania; “A New Vision For EU-US Regulatory and Supervisory Cooperation for Derivatives Markets”
CFTC
Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to be here again at Eurofi. I wish to thank David Wright, Didier Cahan and Marc Truchet for organizing once again a great conference.
/jlne.ws/2UudWGF

SEC Charges Transportation Company Executives With Accounting Fraud
SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the former CFO and two former employees of a publicly traded transportation company with fraud for manipulating the company’s financial results in order to meet earnings targets and projections.
/jlne.ws/2UsgeGC

Social Sentiment Investing ToolsóThink Twice Before Trading Based on Social Media
FINRA
FINRA and the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy are issuing this Investor Alert to inform investors about social sentiment investing tools and highlight their risks. This Alert provides tips to consider before using tools that analyze or aggregate information from social media sources to make investment decisions or attempt to predict changes in the stock market’s direction or in the price of a security.
/jlne.ws/2UtAzer

New Rate for Fees Paid Under Section 31 of the Exchange Act
FINRA
Effective April 16, 2019, the Section 31 fee rate applicable to specified securities transactions on the exchanges and in the over-the-counter markets will increase from its current rate of $13.00 per million dollars in transactions to a new rate of $20.70 per million dollars in transactions.
/jlne.ws/2Use5KZ

2019 Involvement and Election Process Overview
FINRA
FINRA has multiple committees that facilitate effective engagement with its member firms and representatives of the public regarding regulatory and policy initiatives related to FINRA’s mission of promoting market integrity and investor protection in a manner that facilitates vibrant capital markets.
/jlne.ws/2UxZsFV

ESMA launches third EU-wide CCP stress test exercise
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published the framework for its third EU-wide Central Counterparties (CCPs) stress test, marking the launch of its latest CCP stress test exercise. ESMA, as mandated under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), initiates and coordinates this exercise to assess the resilience and safety of European CCPs to adverse market developments and to identify any potential shortcomings.
/jlne.ws/2Use0Hb

Steven Maijoor delivers key note speech at Better Finance 10th Anniversary Conference
ESMA
Steven Maijoor, the Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority, has delivered the keynote speech at today’s Better Finance 10th Anniversary Conference in Bucharest.
/jlne.ws/2UC982p

ASIC welcomes approval of new laws to protect financial service consumers
ASIC
ASIC has welcomed the passage of key financial services reforms contained in the Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) legislation introducing:
/jlne.ws/2UncdDl

ESMA issues first pan-EU overview of use of supervisory sanctions for UCITS
ESMA
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued today its first annual report on sanctions imposed by national competent authorities (NCAs) under the Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Directive.
/jlne.ws/2UySH6A

CFTC’s Agricultural Advisory Committee Announces Full Agenda and New Advisory Committee Members for its April 11 Public Meeting in Overland Park, KS
CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) announced today the full agenda for its upcoming public meeting on April 11, 2019, which will be held in Overland Park, Kansas. [See CFTC Press Release 7898-19]
/jlne.ws/2K5kxDO

CFTC Commissioner Behnam to Provide a Keynote and Interview at the ISDA 34th Annual General Meeting
CFTC
/jlne.ws/2K0U363

Investing and Trading

Nearly half of GAM’s board to step down; Three members of troubled fund manager’s seven strong board will not stand for re-election
Jennifer Thompson – FT
Almost half of GAM’s board of directors plan to step down at the Swiss fund manager’s annual general meeting next month.
/jlne.ws/2UvlWaA

11 Big Ideas for New ETFs Get a Reality Check on Trillions
David Papadopoulos – Bloomberg
The market for exchange-traded funds is getting nasty. Especially for new ETFs. Carving out a niche for one is becoming increasingly difficult.
/jlne.ws/2UyO7oU

Stop Making Investors Society’s Go-To Scapegoats; Socially responsible standards are fuzzier than you’d think.
Mark Gilbert – Bloomberg
Suppose you’re an asset manager deciding whether to finance a West African oil company. The debt will be government guaranteed and offers high yields with little risk of not being repaid, which is Good for returns. The project will create jobs, which is Good from a social standpoint. But it’s investing in petrochemicals, which are Bad for climate change. Should you sign the deal?
/jlne.ws/2UtDzaH

Options-based funds offer succor to investors wary of volatility
Saqib Iqbal Ahmed – Reuters
The Federal Reserve’s pivot on tightening U.S. monetary policy this year and a change in a bond market gauge that is often viewed as a harbinger of a recession pose a dilemma for investors: how to stay in stocks without running the risk of losing one’s shirt when risk assets stumble.
/jlne.ws/2K6mOyx

Institutions

BNP Paribas Announces Investment in Forge and Launches Industry-First Investment Product focused on Pre-IPO Securities
Globe Newswire via AP
BNP Paribas, a leading European provider of banking and financial services, announces an equity investment in Forge Global, Inc. (“Forge”), the leading marketplace for pre-IPO securities, in addition to a strategic product collaboration. The collaboration will involve the development and distribution of investment products providing exposure to Pre-IPO / private innovation companies. Angel Rodriguez-Issa, Global Head of Strategic Investments at BNP Paribas Global Markets, joins Forge’s board as an observer.
/jlne.ws/2K49AlQ

JPMorgan expects first-quarter net interest income to be flat
Reuters
JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Thursday its first-quarter net interest income will likely be flat compared with the prior quarter.
/jlne.ws/2UueFHT

R.J. O’Brien Appoints Heather J. Rucci Managing Director, Human Resources
Press Release
Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO), the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, announced that Heather J. Rucci has just joined the firm as Managing Director, Human Resources. Rucci has two decades of human resources (HR) experience, including as an HR executive at a premier global investment manager.
/jlne.ws/2FVQDxC

Japan’s Nomura to cut $1bn in costs and shut 20% of branches; Investment bank and brokerage plans ‘radical simplification of its operating model’
Siddarth Shrikanth and Leo Lewis – FT
Nomura is to cut $1bn in costs and close 30 of its 156 domestic retail branches, the latest move in a restructuring drive by Japan’s biggest brokerage and investment bank after its worst results since the financial crisis.
/jlne.ws/2UzS1hk

Sealed Envelope Takes Center Stage in Swedbank Laundering Drama
Niklas Magnusson and Amanda Billner – Bloomberg
A sealed envelope reported to contain sensitive information and criticism of Swedbank AB has become the centerpiece in the unfolding scandal involving billions of dollars of cash flowing out of Russia through Estonia.
/jlne.ws/2Ut3LT2

Nomura to Cut About 100 Jobs at Its Troubled European Business
Donal Griffin – Bloomberg
Japanese bank wants 50% cost reduction at EMEA flow businesses; Nomura pulling back from EMEA G10 rates, FX, flow credit, EM
Nomura Holdings Inc. will fire about 100 workers at its troubled European business as Japan’s biggest brokerage embarks on its latest attempt to achieve sustained profitability overseas, a person familiar with the matter said.
/jlne.ws/2UsWrqp

New Hedge Funds Are Asking for More Money From Investors
Amy Whyte – Institutional Investor
It’s getting both more expensive and less profitable to run a hedge fund ó and new managers are seeking out more start-up capital to counteract their rising bills.
/jlne.ws/2Uuhw3z

Regions

China pauses in push to internationalise its currency; Momentum to broaden ownership of the renminbi has ebbed away in recent years
Henny Sender – FT
Late last month there was a flurry of annual conferences in which senior Chinese officials met with the great and the good of the rest of the world. Both the China Development Forum in Beijing and the Boao Forum for Asia in the island province of Hainan, for example, followed a script whose message has been constant: China’s engagement with the world grows ever deeper, and more intense. In recent years, though, that dynamic has not included the People’s Bank of China and its currency, the renminbi.
/jlne.ws/2UyPd40

Europe’s $850bn ETF sector fears no-deal Brexit crunch; BP and GSK among 14 stocks that EU investors may have to trade within bloc
Philip Stafford and Chris Flood – FT
Europe’s exchange traded fund industry faces an uncertain week after a ruling by a regulator that threatens to split up the fast-growing $850bn market.
/jlne.ws/2UtxoDt

Canada’s Diamond Miners Are in Trouble
Thomas Biesheuvel and Danielle Bochove – Bloomberg
High costs, small diamonds cast pall on mines in far north; Industry faces diminished demand, threats from synthetic rocks
The story of how two prospectors, down to their last nickels, discovered diamonds in Canada’s frozen north is the stuff of legend.
/jlne.ws/2UvYLwW

Brexit

Rage within the machine: Brexit headline blizzard overloads FX algos
Saikat Chatterjee – Reuters
Brexit is so confusing it’s even confounding the robots. Machine-driven trading systems in the $5.1 trillion-a-day global currency market are struggling to cope with the blizzard of headlines about Britain’s efforts to extricate itself from the European Union, making it more expensive and risky to bet for or against sterling.
/jlne.ws/2UvLfcy

Miscellaneous

Flooding, refinery outages push gasoline prices higher in U.S. West
Stephanie Kelly and Jarrett Renshaw – Reuters
Severe flooding in the U.S. Midwest this season has had ripple effects for drivers further west, as washed-out rail lines disrupted ethanol supply, causing spikes in gasoline prices and even forcing some retail stations to shut down.
/jlne.ws/2K7CZvo

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